Monday, March 14, 2005

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Hamaara "Vaachak"...reaches Election Commission

For the first time in India (and world?), the election results for the recent state elections of Bihar, Haryana and Jharkhand, could be read out - in English and Hindi - by your computer, if you logged on to the Election Commission site.

This news item from TOI reads:

"Now your personal computer can read out election results in Hindi and English in a clear human voice with an Indian accent. This has been made possible through a special software — Vaachak — developed by city based software company, which employs latest speech technologies to convert the text into speech. The software is being used by the Election Commission (EC) for the first time in India during the counting process for the state elections of Bihar, Haryana and Jharkhand on February 27.

...Vaachak was developed by Vinamra, an MBA degree holder from XLRI Jamshedpur, and his elder brother Vibhu, an IIT-Kanpur graduate in 2001 and since then they have been working to apply it in different fields and improvising its applications.

"It is a boon for almost half a million illiterate Indian population which knows only native language as well as the 95 per cent among literates who do not know English," said Vinamra. "It can also pave way for a future model for E-governance in India as Vaachak has the ability to convert text into other Indian languages as well," he added.

The addition of this latest technology is a part of the ongoing efforts of the EC to enhance its information delivery mechanism. Vinamra met senior officials at the EC earlier this month and proposed a speech enabled web based solution.

On February 10, he got a green signal from EC and within 10 days made a live demonstration. Satisfied with the test trials, the EC decided to deploy it for the coming election results on February 27.

Vinamra said that the same technology can also be used to provide information on telephone through interactive voice response system..."

[Vinamra "Vaachak" Agarwal" is from the 2001BMD batch, and though he has been covered onece earlier on xlalumni blog... magar, kya karen? he keeps on appearing in media again and again ;0)]

Sunday, March 06, 2005

One more Kaul-ing: The New Pizza Chief

Media seems to have become positively biased towards the Kauls from XLRI!!! :0)

After Rajiv Kaul's coverage, this time it is about Ajay Kaul of 89BMD batch...

...this news item from Economic Times (March 2, 05), reports:

"It’s the year of homecoming for the Fredies (Foreign Returned Desi Executives).

So it wasn’t surprising when Coca-Cola India announced Vikas Gupta as its marketing head recently. He comes back after a five-year stint at Atlanta. Mr Gupta follows many other Fredies who have come home in the last few months.

They include the high-profile CEO of Britannia , Vinita Bali, Whirlpool MD, Arvind Uppal, Pepsi’s marketing head Punita Lal, and the new Domino CEO Ajay Kaul, who has been moved from Indonesia to head the pizza major’s Indian operations."

(the news about Vikas Gupta (88BMD) was already covered in an earlier posting)